We are at the five year anniversary of Circle of Two Alliance (CO2) and its betrayal of the Imperium at the battle of M-OEE8. Much digital ink has been expended in defending CO2’s actions on that day when, after fighting all day… as the battle was still going on… CO2’s leader GigX sent one of his FCs… not having the guts to do it himself… to tell the Imperium they were leaving the coalition. They didn’t just leave coalition either, they aligned themselves with the Moneybadger Coalition and took up arms with our enemies to attack us.
One particularly whiny correspondent over at EN24 seems especially invested in pitching a scenario where CO2 was not simply justified in their betrayal, but trying to force that square theory into the round hole of it being the only real option they had. They couldn’t wait until the fight was over to leave, as decency might have suggested, or couldn’t just exit the war without joining the enemy, as other alliances in the Imperium somehow managed to do. They did everything exactly as they should have, according to at least one revisionist scribbler.
But here, five years down the road, with the distance that provides, you can decide for yourself if CO2 made the right call.
Certainly things went better for them initially. The Moneybadger coalition, lavishly funded by the soon to be banned RMT bankers and their casino money, was certainly welcoming. CO2 got to keep their stuff as they joined in attacking the erstwhile allies. Meanwhile the idea of the undying enmity of the Imperium, by then living in the back of the Quafe Factory Warehouse in Saranen, seemed of little concern. We were soon in retreat to Delve in the south. There was a threat to follow us down, but we were beaten and shrunk and not deemed a threat.
And then the Moneybadgers turned on themselves which, to give them credit, they said they would do. PanFam set itself against CO2 and TEST, now allies in Tribute and Vale of the Silent, a conflict that built up slowly but which culminated in another battle in M-OEE8, this time to witness the destruction of the CO2 Keepstar and the exit of CO2 and TEST from the north. CO2 simply postponed their fate by betraying the Imperium.
In the south the Imperium setup to support the Russians in the regions where CO2 and TEST were attempting to invade, but after one big fight the Russians decided they did not have it in them and came to an agreement with the invaders. Soon the Imperium and TEST were neighbors, with CO2 on the other side of TEST. But TEST viewed PanFam as the real threat and came to an accommodation with the Imperium.
The Imperium, however, was still eyeing CO2 and happily worked with PanFam when the opportunity arose to knock out some CO2 titans.
And then came Judgement Day.
The Imperium orchestrated the betrayal of CO2 by The Judge, who was unhappy with how GigX had been running the alliance. Even TEST, their allies from the north, were happy to jump on and help out in the dismantling of CO2. This seemed to be the end for the alliance as GigX was caught in game threatening The Judge with physical violence… something about cutting off his hands… which got him banned from EVE Online.
But the tale was not quite done.
Through subterfuge and CCP complacency GigX managed to get back into the game using an alias for his account, though he was quite open about it with the game itself. He tried to get the band back together and set up shop in Fade after Pandemic Horde decided it was a bad neighborhood, what with the resurgent Imperium now in control of Fountain and roaming around next door in Cloud Ring. But GigX didn’t mind. He seemed to feel that his new allies… he was now running with Darkness and Guardians of the Galaxy… would have his back.
Their presence brought the Imperium north with CO2 as the primary target.
They held out for a bit, but soon enough they were losing structures, including their home Keepstar. The war saw five Keepstars blown up in a single day, though only two of those belonged to CO2. The war went badly for them, the lost their space and were in full retreat into the arms of PanFam for protection when CCP finally got around to applying GigX’s ban to his new account, effectively killing off the alliance once more. (They are still trying to rally support to get GigX unbanned.)
It remains an open question as to whether or not you can kill an alliance in EVE Online against its will. Alliances tend to die from internal collapse. That may be helped along by external factors, but many alliances have suffered huge defeats but had some nucleus of members stick with them to see them restored to some stature within the game again.
But the tale of CO2 going forward from the betrayal at M-2OEE does show that your behavior and reputation as an alliance, and as an alliance leader, does matter. GigX and CO2 showed themselves to be fair weather friends and continued to pay a price for it over time.
So if you see somebody thrashing away with some rationalization about CO2 doing the right thing five years back, just remember what came of that choice. When you make the bed, you get to sleep in it.